In 2017, UKCloud received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, the most prestigious award for business in the UK. Rt. The Honorable Lord Maude of Horsham, a long time member of the House of Commons, summarizes the company’s impact on the government:
“Congratulations to UKCloud for this significant achievement and continued innovation,” Horsham said. “I hope the success of UKCloud will inspire many other startups and small businesses to continue to do great things and keep Britain ahead of the global digital game.”
Today UKCloud does that. Serving many government organizations – from large central government departments to regional NHS trusts – more than 250 company employees play a key role not only in the digital transformation of the US government, but also in the “cloud-first” approach.
“In 2013 our government determined that all central government departments take a cloud-first approach on every purchase of new technology unless they can show that a different approach is more economical, “said Leighton James, Chief Technology Officer at UKCloud. “UKCloud was established in 2011 to activate the government’s ICT strategy, and as our name suggests, we have focused on cloud and cloud services from the start. Today we offer a multi-cloud platform that provides access to the right technology to meet the workload needs of individual customers while simultaneously meeting the needs of those who want to develop native cloud applications. “
All UKCloud technology and infrastructure services, hosted at UK-based data centers, are supported and managed by staff located in the UK. In addition, UKCloud, together with a partner ecosystem, offers software capabilities to help organizations adopt more holistic solutions that enable the use of cyber security, artificial intelligence, big data, digital work, disaster recovery and backup to ensure businesses keep pace with the developing environment.
“UKCloud is founded on core values that include doing what is right to improve public services for US citizens and protect UK data, such as national assets, with sovereign cloud services,” James added. “Our public sector needs are different from the private sector because there is more emphasis on data governance. From patient data and citizen records to military details, everything must be handled safely and in a secure cloud environment. Accreditation and certification are also very important in this sector, along with the need for providers and partners who are able to harmonize guarantees among people, processes, places and technology.
James also noted that providers often had to provide access to other government networks such as for Health and Social Care and Public Service Networks. The company’s UKCloud for VMware offering is a secure and fully sovereign cloud that is in line with the principles of the country’s National Cyber Security Center, is available in various security domains, and is naturally connected to government networks. Unlike most public cloud platforms that are only suitable for OFFICIAL, UKCloud offers two additional security domains to meet the needs of a higher classification level.
The Importance of Being a Verified VMware Cloud
“Being a VMware Cloud Verified is very valuable to us for many reasons, but one of the most important is enabling us to support organizations through their data center modernization programs and supporting a true hybrid approach. We can build and operate VMware cloud technology that is known and trusted by customers in all customer-owned facilities (ie private clouds), UK-class government facilities (secure cloud and public cloud) and the VMware cloud environment on the hyperscale platform – providing consistency, familiar experience and seamless to the cloud, “James said.
UKCloud also sees a significant demand for VMware technology to support their multi-cloud strategy, and enables new services such as Digital Workplace based on VMware Horizon, as well as managing costs involved with multi-cloud. At UKCloud recently Cloud Adoption Survey, 80% of respondents agreed that “fear of runaway costs” was an important issue, a reflection of the survey findings that there was a clear need for more commercial control and flexibility.
As noted by UKCloud in its findings, “This supports requests for offers such as the cost optimization service offered by UKCloud and is supported by CloudHealth from VMware, which helps organizations better understand the costs they incur on the hyperscale cloud platform. “
Despite the concerns highlighted in the survey, James saw a dramatic increase in the use of cloud technology and services in the coming months and years. Cloud not only fulfills legislative requirements such as the mandate that data and information are secured and stored for years, but also increases expectations among citizens that they can interact with government services at any time. 81% of survey respondents also stated that the cloud was only an enabler for their organization to adopt transformative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Smart Places and IoT / hyper connectivity. This is where, as James noted, “cloud can help accelerate innovative solutions and help sectors change their services to meet these evolving needs.”
Of course there are more basic benefits too.
“One of the projects that we handle in health care is British Genomics, the largest genome sequencing project in the world, “explained James. “The platform we use is able to handle the scale and complexity of genomic sequencing data and runs on UKCloud for VMware technology. The aim is to improve outcomes for patients with rare diseases and cancers, and it has begun to change the way treatments for NHS patients. This is a project that shows the true value of the cloud. “
Learn more about UKCloud and its partnership with VMware here.
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